Southern Beauty

The latest Savannah, at 118 feet, is the most finely finished yet.

One can find much to love about Savannah, Georgia. It has all the amenities of a bustling modern city, yet retains the charm of a quiet Southern village. I've visited many times, but have not yet explored all its statuary-laden squares or sampled all its fine little restaurants. I know I'll be back, a sentiment shared by many, so much so that a statue stands to welcome us.

The Waving Girl was erected in honor of a local woman who, for many years, bid bon voyage to departing ships and greeted returning ones. The Waving Girl was also the name given to a 105-foot yacht built soon after Intermarine Savannah began operations under new ownership last year. Originally used for fabrication of large mine-hunters for the Navy, the facility is now dedicated to the repair, refit and new construction of large yachts. After several additional deliveries in the interim, another Intermarine Savannah fiberglass yacht has been christened in honor of her birthplace.

The 118-foot raised pilothouse motoryacht Savannah is the fourth new yacht delivered under the new ownership. Although previous vessels carried the name-including the world's only nuclear-powered merchant ship-the latest Savannah is undoubtedly the most finely finished and outfitted of them all.

Savannah's interior is a quiet blend of medium-tone tanganyika wood and light cream leather. Tanganyika, a hardwood in the walnut family, is used for cabinetry as well as bulkhead accents. The overheads are high-gloss and matte-finished panels mixed in intricate patterns that add a sense of depth to the accommodation and gathering spaces. A sophisticated Light Touch system electronically controls built-in lighting.

The galley is a nice combination of marbles, granites, wood and stainless steel, and features a first-rate appliance list. There are two Gaggenau stoves, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and wine locker, and a Hobart dishwasher. The smaller appliances are by KitchenAid.

The adjoining dinette area complements the galley with tan leather seating. In an unusual twist for a yacht, the flooring in these areas is hardwood with Oriental runners. The pilothouse sole is parquet, and carpet is used elsewhere.

To keep objectionable sound to a minimum, Intermarine Savannah opted for a full-floating acoustic package. This separates the accommodation compartments from the vessel's structure, isolating machinery noises and vibration and increasing guest comfort. Also contributing to sound reduction are a pair of Cowl silencers on the main engines. Because of their spiral design, more muffling can be achieved within a given space.

The electronics systems on Savannah are impressive. In addition to an extensive navigation and communications package, and the Light Touch lighting controls, she houses a full machinery monitoring system and a bilge alarm system that includes an oil-sensing capability. Security monitoring is also handled electronically. The Nortek audio-visual system serves the guest, crew and public spaces with every conceivable entertainment option, controlled locally by Cestron touch panels.

Designed for family cruising with an eye toward the charter market, Savannah has a five-stateroom layout. All cabins are belowdecks and forward of the engineroom, and they share a foyer and stair to the main deck. The master stateroom is forward, spanning the full beam and offering his and her baths. Flanking the foyer are two twin-berth cabins. Aft, one guest room has a queen berth while the other has twins. Each guest cabin has a private bath with shower.

Forward of the guest accommodations and separated from them by a main bulkhead are four crew cabins, three with double berths and one with upper and lower. The captain's cabin and one crew room each have private heads and showers, while the other two crew rooms share a single head adjacent to the collision bulkhead. There is no crew mess belowdecks, but because there is a separate formal dining room on the main deck, the dinette forward of the galley will be available for crew use most of the time.

The dining room is forward of the raised pilothouse, convenient for service from the galley. Its private location, set apart from the saloon, will ensure a sense of intimacy for dinner parties while windows to either side prevent the space from feeling confined. Here, as elsewhere, combinations of wood, stone and leather, blended with columns accented by ebony inlays and bronze inserts, maintain the sense of luxury.

The saloon is quite spacious and oriented toward a portside entertainment center. A semicircular bar serves the saloon and provides seating for four, and a day head is outboard of the pilothouse. Because the side decks extend only halfway aft, the saloon is a full-beam configuration for extra space.

The afterdeck is open and outfitted with a second bar that seats four. The remainder of this area is dominated by a dining table flanked by four chairs and a settee that seats five.

There is a small navigation station on the bridge deck, but most of this topside space is devoted to sunny-day enjoyment. Capacity of the hot tub depends on how friendly everyone is, of course, but a large adjacent sunpad can catch the parboiled overflow.

Contact: Intermarine Savannah, (912) 234-6579; fax (912) 236-8887; www.intermarineus.com.